The original version of this paper was presented at the Project Management Institute's 28th Annual Seminar & Symposium, Chicago, Illinois, September 29, 1997. It was subsequently updated and reproduced on this web site in November 2000.

Republished here April 2023.

Introduction | We are Not Alone | What Basis? | Models | Concept Mapping
PMKS Theme | Objectives | Assumptions | Exclusion | Starting Point | Conclusions
Appendix A | Appendix B

Objectives for Structuring a PMKS

For our PMKS objectives we may again borrow from Forsberg's observations on the essentials of a project management model.[13] That is, to create a PMKS that:

  1. Is explicitly and operationally defined as to structure, variables and relationships
  2. Is obviously valid and intuitive to all project stakeholders
  3. Is generally applicable throughout the project environment in a way that accounts for the complexity and dynamics of the project process...
  4. Is validated empirically in the real project world

To this we might add the following practical considerations:

  1. Is simple, logical and understandable, but comprehensive and flexible
  2. Keeps the number of hierarchical levels within practical limits
  3. Builds on existing project management understanding
  4. Uses familiar terms and phrases that facilitate both electronic and non-electronic retrieval of information relevant to project management.
  5. Identifies and cross-links to hierarchies and word sets that apply to more than one branch of the structure
  6. Does not impose any proprietary view of project management.

With reference to item 9, the cross-linking suggested would highlight both overlaps between areas of project management application and the "fractal" nature of project management. A "fractal", by the way, is defined as a geometric shape having the property that each smaller portion of it can be viewed as a reduced scale replica of the whole — a common feature of the project management process.

If we can meet these lofty objectives, then perhaps we might arrive at a useful and near-universally accepted structure.

Theme  PMKS Theme, View or Project Goal

13. Ibid., p18.

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